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Comelit’s Atena fire detection panels protect The Broxbourne School

16 August 2021

ATENA FIRE detection panels have been installed at an award-winning new eight-form entry secondary school and sixth form academy, itself configured as part of a £100 million development in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

Designed by architect Bond Bryan and built by Chase Homes, The Broxbourne School offers multiple educational buildings, including a new indoor sports hall, a 3G football pitch, a multi-use games area for sports such as netball and tennis. The Broxbourne Music Centre also forms part of the complex.

Winner of a category in the School Building Awards presented by the Education Business Awards, the new campus – which was completed five months ahead of schedule – will cater for 1,500 students aged from 11 to 18, as well as the wider community.

Paula Humphreys, head teacher at The Broxbourne School, stated: “This impressive new school with its extensive facilities and resources replaces our existing school buildings, some of which were over 50 years old. Maintenance and upkeep were uneconomical and the buildings did not meet modern standards or student requirements.”

Humphreys continued: “We’re all so excited to be in our new buildings which enhance the learning experience of our students, but also provide a fantastic resource for local groups and the wider community in and around Broxbourne. Of course, within this, a significant part of the delivery was ensuring the buildings were fire safe and compliant with the latest standards as a Duty of Care towards all who use our truly impressive new school.”

Measuring up

The essential fire safety equipment needed to measure up to the scale of the development. Matrix Fire & Security, working alongside Greenside Integrated Services and main contractor Mid Group Ltd, relied on Comelit’s fire safety solutions portfolio.

Matrix Fire & Security has installed the Atena two-panel network system, which operates on up to four loops per panel to service up to 250 devices per loop. Together with the combined detectors and sounders, Atena’s capability matched the scope of the requirements for the new campus.

Ben Lewis of Matrix Fire & Security said: “Having been a Comelit installer for a number of years, we knew instantly that Atena would accommodate the requirements of the school and blend seamlessly with the fabulous teaching and learning environment that has been created. Being so user-friendly, we could install Atena quickly and work with ‘Responsible Persons’ on site to ensure the systems’ competent use, all with the backing of Comelit’s dedicated sales and technical support.”

With its networked two-staged alarm procedure, combined with class change and a lockdown facility, the Atena system also encompasses panic alarms and Fire and Rescue Service notifications programming. It can manage potential nuisance alarms effectively to minimise disruption to learning, while also safely evacuating students and staff in the event of a genuine fire.

The Atena control panels contributed to an efficient delivery programme that resulted in project handover five months ahead of schedule.

Holistic design principles

Mandy Bowden, business development manager for fire solutions at Comelit, observed: “It’s fantastic to have Atena integrated by our trusted partner Matrix Fire & Security at this impressive educational building. Clever product specification certainly contributed to the efficient build process that saw the project being delivered on budget and so far ahead of schedule.”

Bowden went on to state: “To create school buildings fit for 21st Century learning and to the highest standards, holistic design principles must be adopted. While the Atena addressable panels represent just one component of this amazing new build project, by being so easy to use they do provide an effective way in which to keep the school community, and the broader range of users, safe and protected at all times.”

*For more information on Comelit’s fire safety portfolio visit https://www.comelitgroup.com/en-gb/systems/fire-protection/introduction-to-fire-protection/